Young Kang, Michael Agbeyo and Emeka Mba

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Media Concepts International Limited (MCI) and KAON Media have sealed a deal to set up a factory to manufacture the set-top-boxes (STBs) that will be needed for the realisation of the analogue to digital switchover billed to happen in 2017 in Nigeria.

The Chairman/CEO of MCI, Michael Agbeyo, said the initiative was significant as it would facilitate technology transfer and create jobs in the country.

He said: “This is a significant milestone in the history of Nigeria because it will not only facilitate the transfer of the much needed technology but also create jobs for the country and thereby grow the economy.

“The site for the factory is ready and by January next year, the foundation laying ceremony will be laid while by the end of the year, the factory will hopefully go on stream. The DSO is a massive project that will change a lot of things.”

The Director-General of Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Emeka Mba, said with this milestone, there was renewed hope that the country will meet the digital transmission deadline.

He recalled that the regulator had through ingenuous means, raised part of the resources needed  drive the process, promising that with steps such as the agreement between KAON and MCI, the digital switch over (DSO) will be achieved in 2017. He said DSO is a “monumental project, a national project because the entire value chain is involved; technology is being changed. Nigeria is unique; it is a significant market with 26 million family television homes, some with more than one television set.”

He said MCI is one out of the 13 firms licensed to produce STBs in the country, adding that the firm paid the N50 million licence fee about one year ago.

MCI’s technical partner, KAON Media, expressed delight at being given opportunity to operate in Africa’s largest market.

Represented by its Director, Sales, Mr Young Kang, the firm assured that the products would be of global standard and would be supported by after sales service across the country.

Kang, who said the firm has 120 global customers with successful operations in Europe and other parts of the world, promised to replicate the success recorded in those markets in the country.

He said the firm would start by importing STBs to the country, graduate to semi-knocked down parts (assembly) and then to complete knocked down (CKD) parts. He reiterated the commitment of the firm to remain in the country, transfer technology and sell products made-in-Nigeria by Nigerians for Nigerians.

He said the STBs were designed with the peculiar infrastructure challenge of the country in mind, adding when it was deployed to use in India where there was challenge in power supply, the rate of failure was 0.35 per cent. “Our products have been manufactured to withstand the harshest condition; they are resilient and covered with one year warranty,” Kang said.

Mba said all the STBs that will be used in the country must be NBC spec-compliant, adding that anything to the contrary will not work.

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